The Kentucky Center & Winston Industries Present
Robert Irvine LIVE
Sunday, October 12, 7 p.m.
The Brown Theatre
315 W Broadway, Louisville, 40202
Louisville foodies have plenty to look forward to when Robert Irvine brings his new live show to the historic Brown Theatre. Fans of Irvine’s “Restaurant Impossible” on the Food Network know this tough-guy chef bets his reputation on bringing the heat back to foodservice operations that have lost their spark.
Robert Irvine is the real deal, a no nonsense chef with an iron fist and a heart of gold. He loves a challenge and has a non-stop drive to improve the outcome of often chaotic situations. A native of England, Irvine joined the British Royal Navy at the age of 15 and found his calling in the kitchen. Following his stint in the military, Irvine put his skills to good use aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, serving the royal family, training with the U.S. Navy chefs and even working in the White House kitchens. He’s authored two best-selling cookbooks, Mission: Cook! (Harper Collins, 2007) and Impossible to Easy (Harper Collins, 2010) and he also owns and operates two restaurants in South Carolina, Robert Irvine's eat! and Robert Irvine's nosh.
The busy entrepreneur, educator, and television personality was interviewed by the Post and Courier, answering questions related to his career and personal feelings about his show. Below he reveals his thoughts on why he is the way he is.
Q. On “Impossible,” you can be really hard on people but you show a soft side, too. Off camera, which personality is dominant?
A: When somebody has a debt of a half-million to a million dollars, I have 36 hours in which to figure out their life. And nine out of 10 times, their home is tied to the restaurant, their family, their marriage, their savings, their credit cards, their friends and family that have put in money. So I make no apologies for being tough.
This is the only real reality show on television where there is no prior "knowledge." I do not know where I'm going or who I'm going to meet until I sit in the car and do the drive-up. They tell me I'm going to meet Pat and Gina or so and so. That's all I know about them until you tell me. So when people say you're tough, I always say to them, so if you tell me you're a million dollars in debt and you want me to get you out of it in 36 hours, how would you like me to be? Would you like me to be all nice and soft? I don't have the time. In real time, I have 22 minutes to find out your life story. Yes, I spend two days with you or a total of 36 hours and it's a real $10,000. It's not scripted and you tell me what you want to tell me, and based on what you tell me, it's how I react, how I figure out my plan of action to get this restaurant with its disgusting food ways to that next level by tomorrow evening by 6 o'clock.
So am I tough? Absolutely. Am I caring? I don't know any other chef anywhere that cares more about these families than I do. Out of 82 restaurants, 87 percent of them are successful. I'm a dad, I'm a husband, I travel tirelessly 100 days a year with the military. I've just come back from Afghanistan after having a left hip replacement 10 days before. Why did I do that? Because I committed to the Third Infantry Division that I would do that. And I'm a man of my word. You derive from that what you wish. I travel probably 100 days doing kids charities ... Am I a saint? No, no. But I care about kids and veterans and military people.
Irvine’s live theatre tour operates similar to “Restaurant Impossible,” in that the audience will devise on-the-spot challenges for Irvine to work through. The guy obviously thrives under pressure.
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Photo sourced from the PostandCourier.com